Where in the World Are You, Lynne Friedmann?
Travel Blog • World Hum • 06.22.09 | 12:42 PM ET
The subject of our latest up-to-the-minute interview with a traveler somewhere in the world: World Hum contributor Lynne Friedmann. She wrote the essay All the Flowers in Amsterdam and contributed to our Top 40 Travel Songs of All Time.
Where in the world are you?
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
What are you doing there?
Relaxing on the patio of a friend’s home. Bonnie is a technical writer from San Diego who came to Nicaragua for a two-week vacation, fell under the country’s spell, and bought a house within a week. She’s lived here now for two years, spending her time in numerous volunteer activities including teaching English at a women’s center, as well as to cab drivers. We’re curious to see and experience her new life.
What do you see around you?
The afternoon sun on a deserted bay located down from Bonnie’s hilltop house. The view is framed by plumeria trees; clouds are dispersing from the afternoon rain. My husband, Marc, sits in a rocker, reading a book, his bare feet up. A pair of cats sleep atop his sandals under the chair.
Got a pic?
I packed the camera but forgot the cable for download—however, it looks a lot like this great Flickr shot taken in San Juan del Sur:
What did you have for dinner last night and where?
A sidewalk café in Granada; lured in by the two-for one mojitos for a buck. Marc and Bonnie had a seafood soup with shrimp, crab, and fish heads floating in a milky chowder-like broth. My dish was a chicken burrito unlike any I’ve had. It was packed with equal amount of chicken and vegetables—cabbage, tomatoes, onions, red peppers—and, unexpectedly, a dry, crumbled mild cheese. It was also the size of a rolled up hand towel. The food has been exceptional everywhere we’ve traveled in Nica.
What are you listening to these days?
Live music: Beach musicians playing guitar and marimba for a few coins, street vendors piping one-note tunes in the hope you’ll buy a flute, and salsa bands in back-street clubs that warm up just before midnight and play until dawn.
What are you reading?
Brought with me Hyperion by Dan Simmons (highly recommended by Marc, the sci-fi fan in the family). But, I’ve yet to crack it open. Bonnie just handed me The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie.
What did you experience in the last 24 hours that you would recommend?
A guided walking tour of Granada with a budding opera singer named Gioconda. She left her card at our table last night at dinner. She rattled off with authority the significant names and dates of this nearly 500-year-old city that keeps rising from the ashes of conquests, battles, pirates, and the 19th-century American filibuster William Walker. In the Cathedral de Granada, Gioconda concluded a description of miracles associated with the Virgin Mary by singing an aria. Her accomplished soprano voice filled every corner of the massive structure and set aflutter several pigeons nesting in the dome.
Where in the world are you headed next?
We cross the Nica border on foot into Costa Rica, where we’ll meet a driver hired to take us to the beach community of Jaco, four hours away. There we’ll attend a wedding and spend time touring, hiking and birding. We return to San Diego via New Jersey for a family reunion. A box of clean clothes awaits our arrival in the Garden State.